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Circus for Change

Racial Resources

Not long ago, a group of circus artists started gathering resources to help other circus artists (and really anyone) who wanted to be a part of ending social injustice in our society. Upside Aerial would like to expand this page to include resources for all kinds of social injustice, but right now, it will focus on racial injustice. #1 and #2 below are resources for the general public and #3, #4 and #5 are dedicated specifically to supporting BIPOC circus artists. We hope you will join our #circusforchange and consider any of the following: 

1. Donate: 

2. Educate Yourself:



  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Iluo

  • This Book is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewel

  • How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

  • I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown

  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

  • The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein

  • White Fragility: Why it's So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin Deangelo

  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

  • Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde

  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

  • The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die by Keith Payne

  • Medical Apartheid:The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present by Harriet A. Washington

  • Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty by Dorothy Roberts

  • Radical Reproductive Justice: Foundation, Theory, Practice, Critique by Loretta Ross, Lynn Roberts, Erika Derkas

  • Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology by Deirdre Cooper Owens


3. Spread the Word:


We want our Circus Community to have an active, united, empathetic, and educated response that amplifies and is aligned with the work that is already being done. To help unify this cause and spread the word, use and follow some of these hashtags:

  • ​#circusforchange

  • #circusagainstviolence

  • #aerialistsforBIPOC

  • #blackaerialist

4. Support Underrepresented BIPOC Circus and Aerial artists:

Actively seek out underrepresented circus and aerial artists and follow them on social media, take their online or in-person classes and workshops, and buy tickets to their shows and events. Think we should host them at our studio? Let us know!

Check out The Uncle Junior Project, a documentary celebrating the history of Black people in American circus. The organization is also collecting new stories from BIPOC circus artists to share with the world.  

5. Create Art:​

As movement artists, we use the expressiveness of our bodies to create art: we can lift the human spirit, inspire wonder, and tell stories in a vivid, powerful way. Let challenging social injustice inspire your art. Here is an incredible example from Deon Fox. Let us know how Upside Aerial can help you create!

Thank you to the following circus artists for inspiring and/or contributing to this section: Max March-Steinman, Prisma Blu, Connor Dealy, Aaron Koz, Alisa Mae, Lexi Powell, Kimberly Sende, Deon Fox, Albert Santiago, and Mollie Rose. 

LGBTQIA+ Resources

  • OutRight Action International - fights for the human rights of LGBTIQ everywhere -​

  • The Council for Global Equality - a coalition of 30 prominent U.S.-based human rights and LGBT advocacy organizations working to advance American foreign policy includsive of sexual orientation and gender identity -

  • License to Be Yourself - Open Society Foundation resource for activists working on human rights issues for trans people, local communities examining best laws and policies, and policymakers seeking to uphold the rights of trans people - 

Please email us at to suggest additions or changes for this page.

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